Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

Applications now open to Make Your Own Masters course

Stacie Woolsey has turned her experience of unaffordable further design education two years ago into her Make Your Own Masters course, which will take on 10 students in 2020.

Make Your Own Masters (MYOM) is now open to applications from UK-based multidisciplinary creatives who "have all faced a barrier to post-grad learning".

The 18-month, part-time programme will guide participants through a self-directed curriculum that includes designing projects in response to briefs, working with mentors and undertaking placements with influential companies and institutions.

Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

The programme is based on Woolsey's experience of making her own masters, which she undertook after realising two years ago that she couldn't afford to do an MA at a UK design school.

"I needed to live in London, have significant financial family support and/or £40,000 in savings (as quoted by the RCA)," said Woolsey.

"So, I simply did not get that opportunity. There's a lot of people like me. So I decided that if I couldn't afford to buy an education — and my pathway to work — I would build one for myself."

Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

With inclusivity in mind, MYOM is structured as a part-time course with two-month breaks "to allow learners to work full-time and sustain themselves financially".

And although it commences in January 2020, the first two months will be a "transition" phase so that the learners can build their own course of study while adjusting to the time commitment.

During this time, the group of 10 will seek out briefs from family, friends, charities and companies that they can respond to with projects over the next 18 months.

Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

In Woolsey's MYOM, she worked to briefs from designers Thomas Thwaites, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Seetal Solanki and a contact at Room Y, the innovation arm of department store John Lewis.

She created projects on the material futures of coal and graphene, on micro-plastics as a modern parasite, on redesigning milk for infants and the elderly and on "Dirty Soap" to develop children's microbiomes.

Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

Also in line with Woolsey's own experience, the MYOM learners will choose their own discipline titles by the end of their degrees. Woolsey calls herself an "Anthropological Future Designer".

"This project is for the creatives that are interested in forming new disciplines merging design with any field, do not currently have a discipline title that fits the work the want to make, and will use this course to forge one," said Woolsey.

"The 10 will be the misfits of the art and design world who will use this course to create their own bespoke field."

Make Your Own Masters course applications open January 2020 founded by Stacie Woolsey

MYOM is open to residents of the UK. The course is not officially accredited — Woolsey has previously said accreditation of the subversive programme "felt a bit irrelevant" and would be "almost cheating on the idea a little bit".

Interested applicants need to fill out a one-page form answering questions including "What is currently preventing you from accessing institutional education?", "Describe a scenario where you have previously created an opportunity for yourself" and "Best describe the practice you would like to develop".

Applications are open until 30 November via the Make Your Own Masters website.